Monthly Archives: April 2012

Mini Black-Bottom Cheesecakes

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I love me some cheesecake! What I don’t love is how terrible it is for my waist line. I’ve been wanting to try these because they’re a nice portion size. But I didn’t think I could make the whole batch for myself. I’d eat them all, and that would definitely not be good. Lucky for me, my friend had a birthday. We were celebrating her party at a local bar we frequent, and I thought these would be a perfect portable treat. Although they turned out well, there are several changes I would make next time, so be sure to read through my notes at the bottom. I’m giving you the recipe the way I got it (from Food and Wine), but my notes will include the changes I would make.

Ingredients

  • 24 Plain Chocolate Wafer Cookies (preferably Nabisco)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup fromage blanc (6 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves (warmed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups and spray the cups with vegetable oil spray. In a food processor, crush the chocolate wafer cookies. Add the butter and process until fine crumbs form. Spoon the chocolate cookie crumbs into the prepared baking cups and press with the bottom of a glass to compact. Bake for 5 minutes, or until almost set. Leave the oven on.

    Making the crusts. The first few are pressed down. Make sure you really press down the crumbs.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the fromage blanc, then add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour the cheesecake batter into the baking cups, filling them three-quarters full.

    I didn't quite fill these 3/4 full, but it worked out nicely.

  4. Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes, or until slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from oven and spread 1 teaspoon of the warmed raspberry preserves on top of each cheesecake. Transfer the muffin tin to the freezer and chill the cheesecakes until set, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the cheesecakes from the pan and peel off the foil baking cups. Transfer the cheesecakes to a platter and serve.

These can be refrigerated for up to four days.

My Notes…

Let me begin by saying this is an expensive recipe. Next time I will make some changes to make it cheaper (and better tasting). First of all the Nabisco chocolate wafers were not only difficult to find, but they were over $5 a box. Next time I will use chocolate grahams from Kroger or whatever store I’m shopping at that day. They run at a $1.50 a box. Also Kroger did not have fromage blanc. I used goat cheese and it worked perfectly. Again, pricey, but I really liked how the cream cheese and the goat cheese tasted. If you wanted to be cheaper you could make your own quark (but I’m not going to try to tell you how to do that). Also I bought Smuckers Raspberry Jam, because it was seedless. Not cheap, and not very good. While the seedless does make it look better, I think preserves with seeds would make it taste better.

Also this recipe was supposed to make 12 mini cheesecakes. I ended up with 20. I’m not sure if my muffin tins are unusually small, but I think you could easily stretch this to 24. As you can see from my picture there was about an equal crust to cheesecake ratio. I didn’t have a glass that fit the muffin tin, so I used the bottom of a spice jar. This worked really well and the crusts were perfect.

You might want to really watch the cheesecakes. I cooked them for exactly 15 minutes and then checked. They were completely baked. Not jiggly at all. Luckily this didn’t effect the texture or taste, but they were on the verge of being overcooked, so watch out for that.

Variations: I’d really like to try some variations with this recipe. Maybe blackberry preserve, or a caramel swirl on top. So many options! You could even put some fresh fruit on top, or even use regular graham crackers for the crust. The possibilities are endless, but it makes a great mini-cheesecake, and I’m definitely going to be making these again.

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